Clay Community Schools Board voted last night to build a multi-use facility between Northview High School's softball and soccer fields, possibly in time for this year's season.
Currently, patrons must use port-a-potties because existing facilities are too far away and are often locked. Supporters had built a plywood and particle board concession stand about eight years ago, but floors are decaying and there aren't enough electrical outlets. Since NHS hosts the IHSAA softball sectionals, a place is needed for players and officials to change. Storage room is also needed. Coaches haul equipment around or store it in various places. An upstairs area is also needed to operate both scoreboards as officials presently use a scoring machine on a tabletop behind the backstop.
The 30-by-40-foot facility will contain public restrooms, locker/changing areas for both home and visiting teams, concessions, storage and an upstairs press box.
Originally projected to cost over $100,000, parents have teamed up to bring the cost down to $40,000 - $45,000. Contracts have been secured and builders and suppliers and much of the materials and union labor will be donated or provided at cost. Sports boosters set aside $10,000 last year for the project and hope to raise another $1,500 at Basket Bingo on April 5. Parents secured an another $1,800 in private donations and told the board they were willing to raise more money if needed.
Tom Reberger, school corporation building and grounds director; Jerry Anderson, boy's athletic director; and Jan Gambill, girl's athletic director; collaborated with parents to find the best design and materials to cosmetically blend in with other buildings on campus.
"We're here to ask the board for two things. First, permission to build the facility. And second, some type of financial support would be greatly appreciated," Kevin McCrea said.
Board Member Terry Barr asked if money left over from the Jackson Township Elementary remodeling project might be used. But Superintendent Thomas Rohr said that money was slated for the air conditioning project at Van Buren Elementary.
Jon Hull, school board president, asked if the holding company might be willing to donate some money for the project.
"I hoped parents would have raised the total amount, due to present budget concerns. We didn't set aside any money in the capital projects fund for this facility. We would have to amend the CPF fund or pull dollars away from the purchase of computers or other areas. But there is a way to do it," Rohr said.
He recommended the board support building the facility by asking the holding corporation for $25,000. If the request is denied, he recommended the board provide $25,000 from the corporation's funds. However, he was concerned that the facility might be only partially built if parents couldn't come up with the rest of the amount required to finish the project.
McCrea assured the board that parents, builders, suppliers and labor unions were dedicated to the project and would indeed raise the additional amount.
The board supported Rohr's recommendation and voted unanimously to support the project.
Editor's note: See future editions of The Times for details on other business conducted at the school board meeting, such as a report on ISTEP+ scores, new student handbooks, driver's education program, financial work session and application to Indiana Bond Bank, transfer of sick day accumulations and presentations of the alternative school and remediation programs.